African cinema

 For getting into touch with African cinema one has, of course, several options. For sure, wikipedia is always a good entry. There youll be informed about its history. That way you come to know that during the colonial era “in the French colonies Africans were, by law, not permitted to make films of their own.” But it was Paulin Soumanou Vieyra from Benin in 1955 who transgressed this law and thereby “was granted permission to make a film in France.” The result was the short film »Afrique Sur Seine«. Unsurprisingly “African” movies during that time were shot by Westerners either in a quite racist view or in an anti-colonial gesture.

 Along with the acquired independence Africans gained the opportunity to create movies by themselves. Ousmane Sembène and Med Hondo were two directors getting attention. Furthermore, and this is the second way of getting access to African movies, the Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) was called into being. Its the biggest (African) film festival focusing mostly on African film and filmmakers. For further information you can stop by on the festivals homepage and on wikipedia. If you are bothered by ever and ever reading, you can also have a look on the introduction by Dave Calhoun:


 On dailymotion you can watch the French documentary »Les pionniers du cinéma africain« about the beginnings of African cinema.

 Last but not least let me point out several links on youtube, where some people kindly uploaded African films. 🙂 (Except for Souleymane Cissés »Den muso« for each film there is a wikipedia-article. In case you are interested in a film just click on the movies title.)


Souleymane Cissé

»Den muso« (1975)


»Yeleen« (1987)


Maria João Ganga

»Na Cidade Vazia« (2004)


Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

»Daratt« (2006)


Med Hondo

»Soleil Ô« (1967)

watch directly on youtube, since embedding wasnt enabled


Gaston Kaboré

»Buud Yam« (1997)


Dani Kouyaté

»Keita! L’héritage du griot« (1995)


Djibril Diop Mambéty

»Hyènes« (1992)


»La petite vendeuse de soleil« (1999)


Ousmane Sembène

»La Noire de…« (1966)


»Xala« (1975)


Cheick Oumar Sissoko

»La genèse« (1999)

2 responses to “African cinema

  1. Pingback: Music from Western Africa « sinister pink·

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